New Botany MP Jami-Lee Ross gave an excellent and principled maiden speech to the House yesterday. Some parts I especially liked:
I didn’t have an easy start to life. It is a common misconception that National MPs were all born with a silver spoon in their mouth. That certainly did not occur in my case. My mother was young when she had me, and my father was nothing more than a faceless name that never stepped up to life’s responsibilities. Having just finished raising three girls on her own, my grandmother decided that it was her job to give her young grandson the best up bringing she could possibly provide. She raised me in our small flat in South Auckland, where we lived from week to week as she looked after her own frail mother at the same time. But my grandmother is the reason I didn’t become a statistic. In the most public way I could possibly say this, thank you Nana for the love you showed me, and for giving me the best start to life that I could possibly have asked for. May every child born into difficult circumstances in this country, be as lucky as I have been.
A lovely tribute.
Mr Speaker, I am a staunch believer in limited government. I believe government’s intervention in the lives of New Zealanders must be minimal and only when necessary. I believe the state should provide help to those in need, but on the basis of need, not desire. I believe that government must protect the private and personal security of citizens from foreign or domestic attack. I believe the state should provide access to essential services, like health and education, when the private sector is unable to provide these services profitably. And above all else, we should instil in the nation a culture of personal responsibility and self-sufficiency.
It has been my observation during my time as a city councillor that as politicians we have a natural tendency to want to legislate, a natural tendency to want to throw funding at an issue, or to regulate, often in a way that limits the freedoms of everyday New Zealanders. I submit to the House that in making decisions, the principles of freedom and liberty must be overriding considerations in everything we do. In my view, one of the greatest observations of the 20th century came from Ronald Reagan during his first inaugural address. Speaking about the problems of decades of bloated bureaucracy, the problems of an over-reaching state, and the economic ills of a government that thought it could spend its way out of many of the troubles it encountered, he commented that government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.
Freedom, liberty and a Reagan quote. It could only get better with a Thatcher quote.
Governments shouldn’t be judged solely on how many laws they pass that, rightly or wrongly, increase the size of the state or further restrict our freedoms. Governments should also be judged on how many unnecessary statues and regulations they remove, further reducing restrictions and compliance regimes, and ridding the country of the shackles of socialism that have been built up over many decades gone past.
Socialism is a failed experiment. The socialist doctrine seeks to close the gap between rich and poor, a reasonable goal. But rather than doing so by incentivising wealth creation, socialism seeks to redistribute the limited resources of wealth creators by using the coercive power of the state. If tax and spend was all we had to do to achieve what we wanted, then every nation on earth would be a glowing utopia of human desire. Clearly, that is not the case.
Jami-Lee is so right, that t is a failed experiment.
If I may paraphrase Baroness Thatcher, the problem with this approach and the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money to spend. The problem with trying to spend your way towards closing the gap between rich and poor is that eventually we all collectively become poorer.
Yes, a Thatcher quote also. Superb.
Mr Speaker, as a new Member of Parliament, I join the ranks of members, past and present, proud to call themselves Maori. But whilst I am an individual of Maori descent, I do consider myself a New Zealander first and foremost. I have Ngati Porou blood running through my veins, but I can assure the House that I am a New Zealander who believes strongly in one standard of citizenship. …
It also means that I do not subscribe to the view that I, or any New Zealander of Maori descent, requires special seats to be elected to Parliament, to Councils, or any other body in this country. It is my hope that the people of New Zealand will be the given the opportunity, in the near future, to examine the role of Maori seats in Parliament by way of referendum.
As I blogged yesterday, Parliament has 21 (arguably 23) MPs of Maori descent now. This is proof that you don’t need the Maori seats to have Maori representation in Parliament.
Mr Speaker, I enter this House with a strong set of beliefs and ideals. I am a centre-right fiscal conservative – someone who believes in individual freedom, equality and the maintenance of law and order. Undoubtedly some of those ideals will be moulded and tempered over time to align with what is achievable. But whilst politics may be the art of the possible, politics without principle is nothing more than a naked power grab.
I want my constituents to have the right to exercise their free will to make the most of the time they have on this earth. I want our nation to be proud. I want our nation to be prosperous. I want every child born in New Zealand to be able to access quality schools and universities. I want every adult to seek to be a productive member of society where they do not have to rely on the state to prop them up. I want our nation to be a centre of brilliance, where achievement is rewarded and innovation and excellence can thrive, where we value and protect our personal freedoms, and where we celebrate every day all that is great about our New Zealand.
Mr Speaker, I am honoured to have been elected to the 49th Parliament. I come here to be what James Dilworth called “a good and useful citizen”. I am honoured to have been elected to serve the people of Botany, as their Member of Parliament. And serve I shall.
National is strengthened with the addition of Jami-Lee to its caucus. He’s off to a very good start.Tags: Jami-Lee Ross, maiden speech